PHOENIX – A mother made her first public comments since the arrest of the Phoenix police officer who shot and killed her son.
Elvira Fernandez spoke to the protesters who have been out every night for a week to encourage them to remain peaceful, no matter what happens.
While protesters continue to spend their nights at the Phoenix Police Department, Danny Rodriguez's mother said she has not been able to spend a single night at her home.
In her living room, a bullet hole in the wall, torn carpet and a bloody chair are signs of the struggle between two officers and her 29-year-old son.
Fernandez said she called 911 last Tuesday hoping officers would calm her son down, but instead her son ended up dead.
“I never in my life ever thought that this would be happening to me," Fernandez said. "It’s been the most difficult time in my life.”
Officer Richard Chrisman faces aggravated assault charges for shooting Rodriguez, who, according to the other officer on scene, was unarmed and not posing a threat.
The family's attorney would not allow Fernandez to speak about the shooting.
“She's not going to answer questions involving that, thank you," Sabinus Megwa said. "I think it's fair to the officer to have his constitutional rights and due process of law."
Chrisman's attorney sent a letter to the County Attorney's Office Wednesday night, saying a nationally renowned expert in officer "use of force" interviewed Chrisman and concluded it was "absolutely necessary" to shoot Rodriguez.
Nevertheless, protesters said they don't buy it. Crowds gathered outside the Maricopa County Attorney's Office demanded that County Attorney Rick Romley charge the officer with murder.
Fernandez has not been part of the protests but said she appreciates their support.